The purpose of this paper is to present a numerical investigation of the transient two-dimensional natural convective boundary-layer flow of a nanofluid past an isothermal vertical plate by incorporating the effects of Brownian motion and thermophoresis in the mathematical model.
The problem is formulated using the Oberbeck–Boussinesq and the standard boundary-layer approximations. The governing coupled non-linear partial differential equations for conservation of mass, momentum, thermal energy and nanoparticle volume fraction have been solved by using an efficient implicit finite-difference scheme of the Crank–Nicolson type, which is stable and convergent. Numerical computations are performed and the results for velocity, temperature and nanoparticle volume fraction are presented in graphs at different values of system parameters such as Brownian motion parameter, thermophoresis parameter, buoyancy ratio parameter, Prandtl number, Lewis number and dimensionless time. The results for local and average skin-friction and Nusselt number are also presented graphically and discussed thoroughly.
It is found that the velocity, temperature and nanoparticle volume fraction profiles enhance with respect to time and attain steady-state values as time progresses. The local Nusselt number is found to decrease with increasing thermophoresis parameter, while it increases slightly with increasing Brownian motion parameter. To validate the present numerical results, the steady-state local Nusselt number results for the limiting case of a regular fluid have been compared with the existing well-known results at different Prandtl numbers, and the results are found to be in an excellent agreement.
The present analysis is limited to the transient laminar natural convection flow of a nanofluid past an isothermal semi-infinite vertical plate in the absence of viscous dissipation and thermal radiation. The unsteady natural convection flow of a nanofluid will be investigated for various physical conditions in a future work.
Unsteady flow devices offer potential performance improvements as compared with their steady-state counterparts, and the flow fields in the unsteady flow devices are typically transient in nature. The present study provides very useful information for heat transfer engineers to understand the heat transfer enhancement with the nanofluid flows. The present results have immediate relevance in cooling technologies.
The present research work is relatively original and illustrates the transient nature of the natural convective nanofluid boundary-layer flow in the presence of Brownian motion and thermophoresis.
The authors wish to thank the very competent anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.
Narahari, M., Soorapuraju, S., Pendyala, R. and Pop, I. (2017), "Transient two-dimensional natural convection flow of a nanofluid past an isothermal vertical plate using Buongiorno’s model", International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 23-47. https://doi.org/10.1108/HFF-09-2015-0394Download as .RIS
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